Sunday, June 1, 2014

Social Media: A Situation Report

Time has been a precious commodity lately.

I've been nailed with a two developmental edits for two upcoming books at the same time, plus I had to write a 70 page novella for the mystery collective I belong to, and add to this a re-edit of an already published novel and my normal duties as a journalist and I'm about ready for the funny farm.

What did Hemingway once pen? "No one can work everyday...without going stale."

But hey, business is business, and while I have a nice advance riding on at least one of the two aforementioned books (more money than I made in an entire year five years ago), I'm not shirking my duties. However, I have noticed myself getting more and more agitated with the social media and the persistent onslaught of useless information that bombards me not day in and day out, but minute in and minute out.

No, I do not wish to be invited to play a Game of Thrones or whatever it's called.
No, I do not wish to like your "I love Fluffy Cats" page
No, I don't care about your impromptu selfie snapped in the office bathroom
No, I don't care that after twenty glorious years of marriage you and the hubby are still in love.
No, I don't care that the old girlfriend has a new boyfriend.
And for God's sakes, please don't IM me unless the house is burning down around you. Even then it might take me a while to respond.
As for texting me without being invited to text? You're risking your life here...

Okay, I can hear you loud and clear, "You're one to talk Zandri!" and it's all too true. I'm not casting cyber stones so much as I'm realizing the utter time suck and futility of the social media networks (don't forget to add in useless emails here...). Christ, you can't even pimp your books on Facebook anymore without having to pay out the ass for the, ummmm, privilege.

I think there was a time, not all that long ago, where social media played a vital role in an author's promotion. It got our names out there on a global level, and if our work was any good, we gathered many new fans and sold a few books. Some of those fans even became friends. Some of those good friends live in far away places like Moscow, Cairo, Florence, and many other places. I've never met some of these friends, but a few I have, and that is the beauty of social media.
But when it comes to the everyday posting of useless information, I find it to be a distraction of immense proportions and I'm more inclined lately to turn the damn thing off altogether while I tend to my work.

Okay, so much for my rant about social media. Time to finish this essay and get it out there on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, ...


  1. yep, i get the love/hate relationship with social media. on the best days, it's a lifeline and on the worst it's like a blinking neon motel sign (with the "m" burnt out) flickering in a dimly lit room despite the drapes being pulled shut.

    1. It' a time suck...but sometimes a necessary time suck...